RCPsych responds to news of UK recession

Statement / comment
12 August 2020

The Office for National Statistics published GDP figures today showing that the UK is in an economic recession.

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "Recessions are terrible news for the nation’s mental health. Debt, unemployment and poverty are linked to higher rates of anxiety disorders, alcohol use, depression, and even suicide.

"The looming economic crisis will widen existing health and social inequalities and worsen the mental health problems they bring. Those already unemployed, those living in poverty, young people, single-parent families and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are likely to be hit the hardest.

"Many of the devastating mental health consequences of the economic crisis can be avoided if we take action now. As well as responding economically, the government must commit to significant and sustained investment in mental health services and social welfare measures to ensure that those who will suffer the most get the support they need."

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